The availability of water, food, and harborage also govern the ability of German cockroaches to establish populations, and limit growth. Damp dishrags or sponges are an ideal source of moisture and even bits of food. These can be rinsed with a mild ammonia solution or placed in a plastic bag. Potted plant dishes with standing water or even moist soil in plant pots can be a source of moisture. |
The most important factors that can be controlled to reduce the carrying capacity of a structure are the availability of food, water and space. A very small amount of water is all that is needed to maintain a cockroach for weeks, if not months. Any source will suffice including condensation on pipes, small leaks, moist sponges, soaked wood or even moist food. Cockroaches eat almost anything, including: crumbs, hair, fingernail clippings, feces, paper, spots of grease, oiled clothes, pet fur and dead insects
Limiting Availability of Water
As with humans roaches can survive much longer without food than they can in the absence of water.
Plumbing is one of the most common sources of water for these insects. Any leaking faucets including the gasket at the base should be repaired. Normally if a faucet leaks at the base this occurs when the water us running. Roaches commonly crawl up into faucets for water so the screen that breaks the flow of the water into a steady stream should be in place. The plumbing underneath the sink, especially when the water is off, should be checked for leaks and repaired. A whitish residue around these pipes indicates a slow leak.
Pipe insulation may be needed to prevent cold water pipes from sweating during humid conditions in the summer. There is enough moisture on sweating pipes to sustain a sizable cockroach infestation. The insulation should be sealed to prevent roaches from hiding between the insulation and the pipes. All drains should be covered with a fine mesh screen. Most kitchen sink strainers will not keep cockroaches from going down the drain for moisture.
Other sources of water could include pet water dishes and refrigerator pans.
Limiting Food Supply
Sanitation start with a through clean up of the cooking area. This starts with cleaning behind and under the stove, refrigerator and freezer, if present. The outside of the appliances should also be cleaned. A tremendous amount of food refuse accumulates under the stovetop. Particular attention should be paid to any accumulation of grease which is roach caviar. Cockroaches readily feed on the film of grease on oven hoods and walls next to or behind where frying pans, or grills are used.
When possible foods should be stored in cockroach proof containers. This isn't as simple as it seems as these beasts can chew their way through most types of packaging including thin soft plastic, aluminum foil, paper and cardboard. No open food should be left out overnight, especially on dirty dishes in the sink. It is difficult to completely deprive cockroaches of a food source, but limiting food resources makes it easier for other control methods to work effectively.
Unlike humans roaches make no distinction between garbage and a gourmet meal. A garbage disposal is very helpful in reducing waste in the home. However, the garbage disposal must be used daily or whenever waste is deposited, and it should be flushed thoroughly after each use. If a top cover to the drain leading to the disposal is available this should be in place when not in use. All food preparation surfaces, pots and pans and dishes should be thoroughly cleaned as soon as possible after eating but certainly before retiring.
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